Officials: Arsonists strike brush fires, hundreds flee in Hawaii

Officials: Arsonists strike brush fires,hundreds flee in Hawaii

 29 October 2007

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HawaiiOfficials in Hawaii believe brush fires thatburned along the coast of the state’s largest island may be a case of arson.

Hundreds fled inland to escape the blaze, which has not yet reached homes orharmed anyone. But things could change, officials warned, if island breezeschanged only slightly.

Nine fires appear to have been set in dry grasses along coastal roads nearKamuela early Sunday, officials said. The evacuation order affected an estimated500 people. It is believed they were ignited in a coordinated effort, covering700 acres of land along the northwest portion of Honolulu. More than 60 firedepartments are involved in battling the fires.

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